A word challenge story, the third of a series.

The challenge words: pianist, pencil, high-rise building, running shoes

"Beautiful Music"

Another dry day, at least dry in terms of ideas. For weeks it seems, he’d followed the same routine each morning: rise early, shower while the coffee brewed, then sit at the grand piano overlooking Central Park West. And sit, and sit, and- He sighed. Inspiration was dryer than a summer heat wave back home, and the lack of creativity was becoming more frustrating with each passing day.

The high-rise building where he was staying was chosen specifically for its location. It was close to the studio, close to the heart of the downtown theater district, and the scenery was breathtaking. And the music just wasn’t coming. The tall, lanky pianist leaned one elbow on the music rack of the ebony Steinway, a pencil tucked behind his ear as he doodled with his right hand, praying for a melody to leap from his fingers and onto the keyboard. As his fingers graduated from disjointed tones into “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” he began to chuckle. It appeared that today was going to be another total loss.

Well, maybe not. He looked up from his task and his eyes fell on the grass-stained running shoes that were piled just outside the bedroom door. His lover was never one for neatness, and after all these years together he’d more or less learned to accept it. There were far more important things to disagree about than a pair of shoes, after all. His lover. The word invoked an instantaneous response and he smiled, as he always seemed to do of late. Closing the keyboard cover, he stood and stretched. He placed his yellow Number 2 pencil on the music rack, and strode quietly toward the bedroom.

There was more than one way to make beautiful music.

word count: 292 words, not counting challenge words & title

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